Science Advance: Integrated Self-care Intervention for Heart Failure & Diabetes

A very active Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute (ACTSI) investigator, Sandra Dunbar, PhD,  RN, FAAN, FAHA, Charles Howard Candler Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Advancement, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, with others recently published A pilot test of an integrated self-care intervention for persons with heart failure and concomitant diabetes in the high-impact journal, Nursing Outlook. This pilot study was conducted at the ACTSI Clinical Research Network’s (CRN) Clinical Research Site at Emory University Hospital collaborating with CRN nurses, laboratory, and bionutrition staff. The integrated self-care model has the possibility to improve the quality of life for over seven million1 people battling heart failure and diabetes. Dunbar recruited participants for her study at the ACTSI Clinical Research Sites at Emory University Hospital, Emory Midtown Hospital, and the Atlanta VA Medical Center.

“Our integrated self-care education and counseling helped people with heart failure and diabetes understand the way the two conditions interact, and gave practical approaches for improving their complicated diet and symptoms. The ACTSI has been an invaluable collaborator for all of my studies as well as a critical resource when submitting and implementing NIH funded grants. Our team could not have done this research without this support,” said Dunbar.  

The CRN has also supported Dunbar’s trial titled, Improving Outcomes of Family Caregivers of the Heart Failure Patients; Cost Effectiveness and Quality of Life in Heart Failure Patients with Diabetes and the ACTSI’s Pilot Grants program along with the Emory-Georgia Tech Health Innovation Program provided a grant supporting A Preliminary Test of iHealthHome for Improving Outcomes in Heart Failure Patients with Diabetes. Finally, the ACTSI also supports Dunbar’s research through biostatistics and biomedical informatics review and consultation.

“Dr. Dunbar has been instrumental in highlighting the importance of the health and well-being as well as education and support for caregivers of patients with heart failure. By enlightening both the patient about self-care, and the needs of the caregiver, overall quality of life has the potential to improve in patients with severe and debilitating heart failure,” said Arlene Chapman, MD, ACTSI Co-PI, CRN Director, and Professor of Medicine, Emory University.

Research faculty at Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Georgia Institute of Technology are eligible for the CRN’s free or highly-subsidized services by submitting a research protocol to the CRN Scientific Advisory Committee. To request any ACTSI service, please submit an online request.

1-2011, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Health Interview Statistics, data from the National Health Interview Survey. Data computed by personnel in the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/cvd/fig1.htm